Tag Archives: apps

Far Out iPhoneography

The more I use Instagram the more I am inspired to do crazy, wacked-out things. That’s the beauty of the immediate, streaming social photography movement. As a result, I’ve gone back to a few apps that I haven’t used in awhile, like Percolator, and am learning how to use them more effectively.

This is my friend Don’s drum, which he wrapped in a beautiful paisley fabric. I took it the other night as he and his band Sweet Leda were setting up for a gig. It’s a cool picture alone, but run through Percolator, it exudes a freaky, whimsical vibe befitting it’s looks. This shot of a bunch of colorful bracelets was also processed in Percolator. Again, the original was cool, but I love how the shapes are enhanced by the app.

It’s tough to sometimes capture a mood when taking pictures, especially if you’re a participant. Two weeks ago, I participated in a fundraiser put on by my local Cross Fit gym, called “Share the Pain” (and boy was I in pain the next few days). My friend Ally and I shared a WOD (Workout Of the Day) then, being the Cross Fit gym member, she had to do a second WOD. I got some shots of her preparing for her second workout, then added some TTV effects in TtV Camera, which I think give the shots a gritty, tough look.

Then there was this shot of Ally’s socks. No real post-processing needed for this shot!

HDR is another effect I’ve been using. It’s not appropriate for all subjects and, much like bokeh, can be easily overused, so I try to use it judiciously. For example, it’s completely ineffective to use it on metal objects. It may enhance the color or give it a weird look, but I really don’t think it’s worth using. HDR looks best to me in shots with lots of natural elements (trees, sky, water, people). That said, here are a few HDR shots from a recent night out at the Dirt Track races in Georgetown, DE.

While these are not my best HDR shots, I love how the inclusion of all levels of exposure brings out each individual person, along with details in the fence, bleachers and track.

The next two shots are collages I made with Frametastic. I was killing some time at work when this box of medicine vials caught my eye.

I liked the original, but took it up a notch in Frametastic.

The next collage was inspired by my fingernail polish. I took the kids to the boardwalk for an afternoon out and we all noticed how many things matched the color. I turned it into a photo game and this is the end result.

Here are a few random shots that I really like. They were processed in Camera+ and Vintique.

You never know what inspiration you’ll find when you look up. Here are two stand-outs.

These last two shots are macros of ordinary things. When it gets slow at work (which isn’t very often) I try to look around and get inspired, which can be tough at a hospital. Last night I just couldn’t find ANYTHING, until I started looking at my surroundings with a graphic, abstract frame of mind. Here’s a stack of stapled papers taken and processed in Camera+.

When I got home last night, I found tiny little pencils on the kitchen counter. My daughter Zoe had made them for her dolls to use by coloring toothpicks with markers. They were so realistic looking! This is how I captured them this morning with Camera+.

Kind of fitting considering it’s almost time for everyone to go back to school. Speaking of which, you’ll notice my posts have gotten a little sporadic. Unfortunately, that trend will probably continue as I go back to school next week to pursue a master’s degree in nursing. My family nurse practitioner program is a 3 1/2 year endeavor that will take a lot of my time and energy, which will leave me with less time to devote to my passions of photography and music. I will still be blogging but it may be on a less regular basis. Stick with me, though, because I’m never going to stop taking pictures. Thanks for your patience and understanding as well as all your feedback.


Fabulosity with Fusioncam by Stepcase

Who can pass up a freebie? Not me, and as a result I’ve got some apps on my iPhone that I’ve barely had a chance to play with, like so many rough diamonds hiding in the rough. A recent trip to the Air Mobility Command Museum at Dover Air Force Base gave me a chance to goof around with one such app called Fusioncam which allows you to create double exposure photos. I downloaded it for free during its first week but it’s currently only $1.99 USD in the app store.

Since it’s inside and free, the AMC is a place we visit pretty regularly. It’s a great place to explore with children or anyone who is interested in history or aircraft. Housed in an old hangar, the museum is filled with vintage WWII and Vietnam era planes, historic uniforms and other memorabilia that tells the story of aviation in the 20th century and more specifically the story of Dover Air Force Base. Outside on the tarmac you’ll find a whole fleet of retired aircraft ranging from a small helicopter to large transport planes, some of which you can climb inside.

I’ve taken many pictures at the museum, especially with my iPhone. Inside the museum it’s dark, making a good film camera shot hard to obtain while trying to follow my family around. During last week’s visit I decided to do some serious experimentation with Fusioncam along with some of my newer Hipstamatic lenses. I’ve gotten some interesting results so far with Fusioncam but nothing I’d consider spectacular. Here’s a couple of shots I took earlier this month.

The pictures that stood out for me in these first few sessions were the first, third and fifth. Results were much nicer to my eye when double exposing using the same subject with the camera turned or flipped. I have yet to get really good results overlapping two completely different subjects. Maybe if I use the flash in the future? Fusioncam does come with a flash on/off switch.

Here are some of the best shots from inside the museum

I like how the double exposure creates a sense of motion

When I snapped the final shot I realized I had something. There were lots of lines and shapes to play with on the airplanes and exploiting them by tilting the camera gave me some very cool abstract shots. Another nice future of Fusioncam is the ability to compose your double shot before snapping the photo. First, you take a picture within the app then move a slider on the screen from 1 to 2. This will make your first exposure appear faintly in the viewfinder so that you can tilt the camera until you finally get the look you want. Press the shutter then move another slider from ‘camera’ to ‘gallery’ mode and view your finished photo. You can then choose to save it by pressing the ‘develop’ button.

Outside on the tarmac I went crazy…

These two are my favorites of the day

At the end of the day I stumbled upon one of the coolest things about Fusioncam….it’s ability to make triple and quadruple exposures! Just pick your double exposed shot as your background and go to town like I did in these photos….

Double shot

TRIPLE shot!



Now that I’ve unlocked some of the power of Fusioncam, you can bet I’ll be using it more and more. The only criticism I have is that it is often difficult to toggle the tiny sliders, especially at the bottom of the screen when moving from ‘camera’ mode to ‘gallery’ mode. There were a few times when it took me a full minute to get it to switch, and I have small fingers. God help you if you have banana fingers. Hopefully this can be tweaked in future versions but it’s not going to stop me from doubling and tripling everything in sight!

Dirty, Muddy Fun

Didn’t take many pictures this week but I did accomplish a goal today. I finished the DE Downstate Dirty Dozen Mud Run, a 4.8 mile run filled with 12 muddy obstacles. It was fantastic! I wanted to take my $5.00 underwater film camera along for the trip (and I could have gotten some very interesting shots) but the day was overcast. Those little cameras need a lot of light (I think they’re aperture is somewhere around f/22) so I didn’t even waste the film trying. There was also a little Vivitar 5 MP digital camera that a friend loaned me. It has it’s own waterproof case and is designed for taking pictures underwater–which turned out to be the monkey wrench in the plans. The flash was so intense (even after adjusting the strength) that I couldn’t take a decent picture without blowing everything out. Thank goodness for friends at the event who had their cell phones! I also took a few shots pre and post race with my iPhone and Hipstamatic:

I guess the enormous mud pit wasn’t watery or muddy enough because the local VFD was still filling it before racetime. You can see how chilly and windy it was by looking at the lady in the foreground.

Rich, one of my team mates, pretending to warm-up

My husband Jake, the other part of our three-person team named “Will Run For Beer”

Me and my son’s froggy hat. It kept me toasty through the race. We’re now pre-gaming with sissy beer.

Our friend (and Rich’s girlfriend) Melissa, handing out some oranges

At the end of the race with our fancy medals. We finished! Woo-hoo!

I also goofed around with Hipstamatic and Pic Grunger this week. Here are some of my favorite results of that session,

I hadn’t messed around with Pic Grunger in awhile so I was happy to find they’d added some textural backgrounds to their menu in addition to the grungy foreground effects. This is using the wrinkly background. I love how it looks like an old, stained picture.

I liked the gum ball machine at the mall. I took a close-up shot of it using the SXSW lens and Berry Pop flash, then applied various Pic Grunger effects.
Here’s another shot using the burlap background.

Last but not least, the sign on these strollers really made me scratch my head. I guess some people really are that dumb. It sure made for a funny picture!

That’s it from Lo-Fi land this week!

Lull in the Action? Not Really…

I’ll be the first to admit it. I suck. I have not been a good blogger of late. Life has been pretty insane/rotten/strange lately and has sucked out the last bits of remaining energy that I usually have for creative pursuits. I’ve done a little writing this summer and even less film photography but an opportunity last week got the creative wheels turning again.

I mentioned the folks at Eye’em in my last blog. They’ve taken an even bigger step in making mobile photography a viable art form by revamping their site so that you can sign up for an account and post your mobile photos for all to see and admire, much like LSI’s lomo homes. The amount of fantastic works that people are producing with these crappy little digital cameras is crazy! It is well worth your time to browse these images not only to get an idea of what you can do with these cameras, but also to get an idea of the wide array of apps and programs available.

I got an email from Sara at Eye’em a couple of weeks ago: My shot, entitled “Flooded”, will appear in a book, to be published in the next month or so and they wanted me to say a few words about it. I’m actually very grateful for that opportunity because it really allowed me to solidify what it is about iPhone photography that is so appealing to an analogue gal such as myself.

I see toy/vintage photography and mobile photography as very similar animals. They’re both fun, relatively simple and can be crazily unpredictable. As with toy cams, my iPhone cam can give beautiful results or total garbage. In general it’s much more reliable, but not consistently so, than my toys. It’s pretty awful in low-light, just like my toys and the shutter lag can be ridiculously long. There’s a real art to pushing the shutter at the correct time, something I’ll never master, but the so-called mistakes that I’ve captured because of that shutter lag (like the one in this post) have been really freakin’ cool, so I can live with it.

Because of great apps like Hipstamatic and Camera Bag, I can get toy and vintage-like results. Is it cheating? Sure. Do I care? No, and why is that? Because I’m still not spending hours and hours in front of a computer adding layers of saturation and ‘years’ to a perfectly ordinary shot for the sake of making it ‘look like it was shot on film’. With an app like Hipstamatic I pick the camera, film and flash I want to use and push the button. That’s it. I have a couple of filter programs but most of the time find no reason to use them, unless I’m trying to really kill some time while waiting for soccer practice to conclude. Not that they’re super labor intensive, it’s just that I don’t have the time or patience to mess with the extras.

The biggest similarity between the two is that they’re both seriously under-appreciated and under-respected (if that is a word) forms of art. I love the look on people’s faces when I show them a picture and tell them I captured it with a two-dollar camera as much as I love to tell people that I was recognized in an international competition for a shot I took with my iPhone. I don’t think either of these art forms will ever garner the respect that ‘serious’ photos taken with DSLRs are given, but that’s one more reason to strive to make beautiful images with my both.


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